The Psychological Value of Public Art

Public art reaches inside us to influence our senses, attract our attention, and even change our habits. A simple experiment shows the power of art to influence how we use the city.

Go Climb a Tree

Tree-houses have been built throughout history but they now seem to be enjoying a resurgence. We can live in trees, stay in tree-hotels, or simply spend an hour or two in a forested canopy. The well-known psychological benefits of nature exposure suggest that spending time in a tree-house could make you feel happier and less stressed a think more clearly. Go climb a tree.

The Psychology of the Home Office

Working from home can be all blissful flexibility or a mess of unproductive disorganization. Use these simple reminders to help support a productive home working environment.

The Neuroscience of Design

As neuroscientists learn more about how different kinds of environmental designs affect us, general principles relating brain and place will emerge. How can architects take advantage of such advances without losing the power and freedom to create?

Coping With Urban Stress: Watch Where You Step

Our bodies react with stressful arousal to the typical experiences of an urban dweller, such as crossing a busy street. Surprisingly, we may be completely unaware of these stresses, making it difficult for us to manage them. Practising mindful awareness of the effects of stress on your body, perhaps using technological aids, may help, lowering the risk of illness.

Ten Tips for a Psychologically Rewarding Vacation

When going on vacation, we may be so afraid of missing something that we load up on guide-books, check-lists of must-see tourist attractions and hot-spots. But there are other approaches which involve opening up your mind to new experiences and increasing the likelihood of unexpected happy discoveries. Try these playful tips for a different kind of holiday experience.

The Internet is the New Barrel of Fun

The design of built spaces exerts strong effects on our behavior, including our ability to make connections with strangers. But now, with the advent of mass communication via the Internet, the rules of engagement have changed.

Smart Technology And The Death of Culture Shock

New types of wearable computing can provide us with all kinds of rich information about a place that we've never visited before. Such tools provide a valuable means of enriching our experience of place but they may make it more difficult for us to enjoy the novel sensory experiences associated with new places.

Head in the Cloud: What's Wrong with Telecommuting?

The debate about telecommuting often centers on questions about whether a worker can function well without visiting a traditional office environment. It's generally assumed that when a worker can avoid the office they are better off doing so. But is this always the case? It's possible that the unshackling of work from a workplace takes away the freedom to not work.

What Happens When You Take a Psychologist to a Museum?

Unlike most of the places we visit, museums and galleries invite us in to explore for education, enlightenment and simple pleasure. New and sophisticated methods for measuring behavior have allowed psychologists to place museum exploration under the microscope so that we can measure the unfolding thoughts and feelings of museum-goers.

Do Collaborative Workspaces Work?

New office designs are shifting away from traditional assembly-line style layouts to spaces designed to encourage interaction and creativity. There's no doubt that our workspaces are overdue for a re-think, but good workspace design is a subtle art requiring both an understanding of your organization's workflow and the basics of human behavior.

All That Glitters Is Not Green

Much research in environmental psychology has shown that exposure to parks and greenery can make us happy and healthy. Yet taking advantage of this finding in dense cities where space is at a premium can be difficult. Can we take advantage of what we've learned about nature exposure to build settings that restore?

Cold Dinners and Hot Buildings

At the first meeting of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, a visionary group of builders and thinkers consider the possibility that neuroscience can contribute to better architecture.

Feng Shui in the Field

Recent studies show some subtle effects of magnetic fields on human physiology and behavior. Could this be the basis of certain traditional building practices like feng shui and vastu shastra?

Oppressive Spaces, Social Networks, and the Panopticon

Architectural spaces can oppress and disturb by manipulating the relationship between the observer and the observed. But now mobile technology and the Internet have changed our understanding of what it means to be seen or to be hidden, and this has enormous implications for design, architecture, and environmental psychology.

Separate Bedrooms

Sleeping alone can not only improve sleep quality but it can also help to promote psychologically healthy feelings of autonomy and empowerment.

Lost in the Moment

How to make sure you can always find your way? Get lost! But in the moment.

Stress and the City

Living in the city produces stresses that can influence brain function. Protecting yourself by regulating stress means first understanding how place influences feeling.

Home Is Where the Head Is

Do the homes we choose for ourselves reflect the inner workings of our minds and cravings to re-connect with childhood memories?

Finding Your Way to the London Olympics

Finding your way through the city of London can pose major challenges to the brain's wayfinding systems. But smart environmental design based on sound psychology and neuroscience can help keep you oriented and encourage walking and exploration.